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Ahly face possible 3-year Champions League ban

Africa's most successful club could face a lengthy ban from continental football competition after Cairo's security directorate refuses to secure stadium for Ethiopian Coffee clash

Eslam Omar, Tuesday 3 Apr 2012
Ahly
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Ahly could face a three-year ban from the African Champions League after Cairo's security directorate refused to secure the stadium at Sunday's match with Ethiopian Coffee.

The club received an official letter from Cairo's security directorate informing them of its decision:

“The decision was made because of the security conditions imposed by the prosecutor-general's office after the Port Said stadium disaster.”

Club president Hassan Hamdi contacted the authorities informing them that they would be willing to play the match behind closed doors at the Military Stadium.

“The board cannot change the date or the location of the match as we have already informed the Confederation of African Football (CAF) of these details,” said a letter the club sent to the security directorate.

“If the match isn’t held when and where specified, the club will be punished with a three-year ban from African competitions,” the letter continued.

“Ahly hopes the interior ministry will co-operate and allow the match to be held on its specified date and location, and do its job in securing the guest team and CAF officials,” the letter concluded.

The first leg was in Addis Ababa on 25 March and finished in a goalless draw.

More than 70 Ahly fans died on 1 February when thousands of Masry fans stormed the Port Said stadium pitch after a league game. Investigations into the matter are almost complete and the case will be sent to court this month.

Meanwhile, Ahly's hardcore supporters group, Ultras Ahlawy, have joined archrival Zamalek’s Ultras White Knights in an open-ended sit-in outside the Egyptian Parliament to demand “justice for the martyrs” of Port Said.

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